Inspired by the men’s football World Cup we looked at the shopping patterns on Amazon.com to see which teams and star players are most supported. The World Cup 2018 is currently ongoing in Russia starting from June 14 and will end with the final match on July 15.
The FIFA World Cup is the biggest sporting event on the planet featuring 32 teams, 64 matches, 12 stadiums and 11 different host cities. The 2014 World Cup in Brazil saw record viewing figures around the world. According to FIFA, the tournament reached 3.2 billion viewers, and more than one billion people watched the final between Germany and Argentina. In the United States it has been growing viewership over the years; this year it is expected to be the most watched World Cup in history.
On Amazon the most popular is the Mexico national team jersey. Followed by Argentina, then Germany, Brazil, and finally Portugal. Star players Neymar Jr. for Brazil, Lionel Messi for Argentina, and Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal are driving the sales for their national teams. These top 5 national teams get the lion share of sales, with countries like Columbia, Spain, Croatia, Iceland, and others only appearing briefly.
There are few jerseys being sold until ten days before the World Cup starts. Then, overnight, they become popular. This is immediately visible in the chart, where each dot represents a national team jersey. The higher the dot in the chart, the more popular the jersey is. Various other sports and teams are popular in the Sports Fan Jerseys category on Amazon before the kickoff of the World Cup.
Mexico has the largest fanbase in the US of all World Cup teams. There is a visible explosion in popularity on Amazon on June 17th when Mexico played and won their first game of the tournament against Germany. The Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez jersey is one of the top sellers.
It only takes a glimpse of the chart to notice the popularity of Mexico. Throughout the tournament Mexico national team jerseys have dominated the top sellers list.
Argentina’s star player Lionel Messi is considered to be the best in the world and the team’s blue striped jersey is one of the most recognized. Unfortunately for Argentina they lost in Round of 16 to France and were sent packing.
Nonetheless the blue of Argentina remains one of the top sellers on Amazon. Similar to Brazil and Mexico their fans were buying jerseys months before the tournament, unlike Germany which only gained traction at the start of the tournament.
Germany won the last tournament in 2014 in Brazil. Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil and Mario Gotze are all popular players. However Germany has failed to advance past the group stage, finishing last in their group. Germany’s performance in the World Cup was a big disappointment for a country with four World Cup titles.
Germany’s jersey in white however is immediately recognizable and has been one of the top sellers all throughout the tournament.
Brazil’s yellow jersey is iconic in soccer, recognized by fans of the game worldwide. Led by Neymar Jr., Brazil is expected to be in the final by most, after all they won the tournament five times, more than any other nation.
According to data the Brazil national team jersey is never in the top spot, but the team is still very popular.
Portugal lost to Uruguay in Round of 16 and is out of the tournament. Despite having Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the best players currently in the game, in the team.
At the start of the tournament Cristiano’s jersey was the top seller on Amazon when the player scored three goals in Portugal’s first match of the tournament against Spain. The start of Real Madrid is exclusively driving the interest in Portugal’s jersey. At 33 years of age it was most likely Cristiano’s last World Cup.
Adidas and Nike are dueling for fan’s spending dollars. Adidas sponsors Mexico, Russia, Colombia, Argentina, Germany and other countries (in total 12 of the 32 participating teams). Nike has Brazil, Portugal, Nigeria, England and France among their list of 10 teams.
However on Amazon some of the top sellers are knockoffs of the official merchandise. Many are out of stock too, rarely available on Prime. This highlights the chaos of the Amazon catalog and how challenging picking the right product for a consumer could be. Searching for “mexico jersey” for example returns thousands of results, none of which are identified as official merchandise or sold by Amazon itself.
The currently number #1 selling jersey is the Mexico white jersey for $24.99. It has one review. The official Adidas jersey costs $89.99, but is out of stock by all sellers on Amazon. Estimated back-in-stock times put it past July 15th when the World Cup finishes.